Thursday, March 13, 2014

When I Will Explore Malaysia

The summer is about to start. School and college going kids are eagerly waiting to finish with their exams, and enjoy their 2 months long summer vacation. Some might have planned their to-do things in this summer. Summer is the favorite Travel Season for Indians for obvious reasons. Parents prefer to go out for a trip when their kids have no homework and lectures to miss in school.

The travel agencies know this well, and since last few weeks we are seeing half or full page ads in the newspaper of every travel agency, and about trips all over the world. It's really tempting. I wish if even working professionals like me could get such yearly off; it would be fun and easier without worrying about leave balance.

Since my childhood, I've been dreaming of travelling all over the world. I read a travelogue called "Purvaranga" (colors of east), by celebrated Marathi author P L Deshpande, about his long trip to Indonesia, Malaysia, and other eastern countries. I was amazed about the fascinating places there, and equally impressed with the observation and narration skills of Mr. Deshpande. There is so little we know about our Asian neighbors because the only direction we look is west.

Since then, I've a strong desire to travel to these countries, especially Malaysia. Just like India, Malaysia is blessed with diversity of geography, people and culture. From the beaches with crystal clear water to jungles and sanctuaries, from beautiful nature to modern cities, they have it all.
Here are top 5 things in my Malaysia wish list.

1. The Two Towers 

Not the two towers you have seen in Lord of the Rings, but the ones which you get to see in the Sharhrukh Khan's Hindi superhot movie, Don. A thrilling sequence with Arjun Rampal is shot here. The Patronas Twin Towers are one of the tallest buildings in the world, and tallest twin towers. Another tall attraction nearby is Kuala Lumpur Tower. There is a rotating restaurant here on the top. Imagine a dinner with the view of Kuala Lumpur from this tower.

2. Batu Caves
India and Malaysia have a long history together. Indian traders visited this region often. Many of them settled here. The local culture has influences from both Indian and Chinese culture. Parts of Malaysia were part of historical Indian empires. Many Sanskrit inscriptions are found in Malaysia highlighting this relation. Batu Caves, constructed in relatively recent times, is one of the significant Indian religious places in Malaysia. As this is dedicated to Lord Murugan, Tamil people in Malaysia gather here to celebrate the Thaipusam festival on a large scale.

3. Water Village
The name Water Village suits the village well, because literally the village is built on the edges of the water. All the wooden houses, residing mainly fishermen, are built stilt on the water. Numerous wooden bridges connect the village. Every family owns a boat here, that's the local transport system. A walk and a boat ride in such a village would definitely be exciting.

4. Living Museum
By just a visiting a tourist spot, you will not understand the local culture enough. You will need something more. The Sarawak Cultural Village has made it easier. It is one step ahead of Siddhagiri Gramjeevan Museum in India that I have already written about. The Indian museum has only statues depicting the rural village, but the Sarawak in Malaysia has an entire village with living people living there and doing the routine tasks that you can observer. That's why it is popular as Living Museum.

5. Pulau Redang
I have seen the beaches with powdery white sand and crystal clear water only in films and advertisements. I want to experience it in real. Pulau Redang is a set of islands with such beautiful beaches, rich marine life, diving sites. If I ever go to Malaysia, I can't miss this place.

Malaysia has much more to offer than points in my wish list. I am waiting for the time when I visit this country, and explore Malaysia, truly Asia. :)

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with